WATCH: Burglar caught after high-speed Fiat 500 police chase

A career criminal wanted for a string of violent crimes across the West Midlands has been jailed after police caught him in a high-speed chase.

Thomas Cahill was caught after a police chase in a Fiat 500
Thomas Cahill was caught after a police chase in a Fiat 500

Dramatic footage shows Thomas Cahill driving on the wrong side of the road, through barriers and down grass verges before the 42-year-old was eventually caught on foot.

He was attempting to flee police along streets in Quinton in a Fiat 500 he had stolen in Wolverhampton, after its tracker was noticed pinging in the Stourbridge area

Cahill was wanted for offences including burglary, distraction burglary and robbery as well as aggravated vehicle taking.

WATCH the footage here:

During his spree, a 78-year-old woman suffered a broken hip after being dragged to the ground as he snatched her bag in a Harborne street.

He also broke into the home of another 78-year-old woman, cutting her phone line so she couldn’t call for help, where he stole bank cards and cash.

A woman in Edgbaston was stabbed multiple times to her hand as he tried to cut the strap of her handbag as she was walking down the street.

And he tricked his way into the house of a vulnerable man, who had previously suffered a stroke, by asking for a glass of water.

He stole his bank cards and used them to shop in a local supermarket.

Cahill was eventually caught on foot with the help of the police helicopter

The son of the homeowner spotted Cahill leaving the house, and recognised him as having previously taken on roofing work at the house.

Police launched a force-wide manhunt to trace the violent 42-year-old and a day later, on August 22 last year, he stole a Fiat 500 from a property in Wolverhampton.

Traffic officers on patrol picked up the in-car tracker in Stourbridge and its movements were monitored from above by the police helicopter.

The stolen car was driven dangerously, speeding through residential areas and at times on the wrong side of dual carriageways, before its tyres were stung in Hagley Road.

The Fiat 500 was driven through wooden barriers

It eventually ground to a halt in Simmons Drive, Birmingham, at around 6.45pm having shed a tyre and the 42-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving following a brief foot chase.

At Birmingham Crown Court on September 28, Cahill, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to five burglaries, three robberies an attempted robbery and aggravated vehicle taking. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Detective Mark Timmins from West Midlands Police CID said: “Thomas Cahill is a really violent offender and we are so pleased to see him behind bars for this time.

“He preyed on the vulnerable and took advantage of them.

“Cahill drove a battered Ford Focus to commit most of these offences, so we were quickly able to identify him as being involved in these malicious crimes.

“Being a victim of burglary and robbery can be really difficult and the thought of someone being in your home can take a long time to recover from, so I hope this sentence will also provide comfort to Cahill’s victims.”

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